Kim Sargerson
Re: The Amarna Period again
Fri Sep 2, 2016 20:00

Hi Joe

"On the other hand I place Kadašman–Enlil’s offer after the year 21 treaty."
I think you mean Kadashman-Turgu. Yes, this is a possibility. However the chronology I presented had K-T acceding around 19/20 Ramesses II and the letter from Hattushili to Kadashman-Enlil must be about 20 years later. How long do you think Hattushili reigned? I see it just as likely that Hattushili, in the negotiations leading up to the year 21 treaty, moaned to his fellow kings about the Egyptian attitude and (not seriously) suggested that resuming the war would be less bothersome. Yes, Kadashman-Turgu's offer could have come after the treaty. But the start of his reign, also? I suspect the low chronology is ndr pressure simply because of the Babylonian kinglist, but you have yourself supposed that the unattested Marduk-kabit-akhesu at the start of Isin II never actually ruled Babylon.

"the Low Chronology model is coming under pressure as its supporters begin to accept Taḫamunzu as the wife of Akhenaten and also that Ḥoremḥeb only reigning 15 years"
That actually does not supply the pressure. It does however apply pressure to the Tahamunzu = Ankhesenamun supporters. With many NE historians now supporting 1315 or 1312 as the date of Mursili's sun omen, rather than 1335, Egyptian kings have to be down-dated by 10-20 years in any case, and the "loss" of 15 years or so from the reign of Horemhab actually helps this. The choice between 1290 and 1279 is dependent on how long you think the reign of Sety I is, and how long that of Hattushili.

"There is no known Hittite-Egyptian hostilities between the accession of Ḫattušili and the year 21 Treaty"
But there do not have to be; for Hattusili to contemplate going to war is not the same as there being war. We do not know with any precision how long Muwatalli survived after year 5, or how long Mursili III reigned (most accept 7 years) or if any actual treaty was in existence. The Egyptian version of the "Treaty of Kadesh" says that a de facto state of peace had existed since Muwatalli died, but only mentions actual treaties of the reigns of Mursili II and Suppiluliuma.

"there is one known quarrel some time after year 21 and several years before year 34 - that is when Urḫi-Tešub sought and was granted asylum in Egypt"
The confidence with which it is often asserted that Urhi-Tesup actually fled to Egypt is misplaced. It is equally uncertain that these events took place after, and not before, the year 21 treaty.

"Everything falls into line except for the problem of the presence of Tutankhaten"
I think you are missing the point, somehow. It is not what the Hittites knew, or were told, really. The Egyptians would have crowned Tutankhaten straight away, whether or not they accepted Neferneferuaten as senior ruler and effectively regent. There could be no months of negotiation because the new king would already be installed and proclaimed. This had happened probably twice before in the dynasty (that the heir was under the age of puberty on the death of the king), at the accession of Thutmose III and Amunhotep III, at least. In each case the widow of the deceased king appears to have stepped up - Hatshepsut and Mutemwiya respectively. So there is no problem with the presence of Neferneferuaten in the scenario. But then the letters to Suppiluliuma make no sense whatever. There is an established male heir, and an established female placeholder. No need at all for any foreign blood.

"even the local peasants must have known about the king’s son"
Not just the peasants. Do not forget the royal nurse Maya.
Her tomb was at Saqqara, and no evidence she was at Akhetaten has been produced AFAIK. She was, according to Zivie, explicitly his wetnurse, thus long before he became king. The default position should be that prince Tutankhuaten was widely known of in Egypt at large.

"It makes me suspicious for when Muršili wrote it he knew that Akhenaten had a son who in due course became the king"
But if Tutankhamun is not the son of Akhenaten, the whole thing becomes far less murky. It is clear from the EA letters that the kings who wrote to one another assumed as a matter of course that they all had sons. It is part of the diplomatic language. To be told that in fact Akhenaten had none (or none surviving) must have been a surprise.

"in someway his “apologetic account” attempts to justify Suppiluliuma’s breaking of the treaty"
The justification surely lies in the murder of "Zannanza". If, of course, he was not murdered, but died a natural death, or at least the death was merely suspicious but could have been either, then some sort of pleading is required.

"As you know I support the idea that Taḫamunzu was Meritaten"
I once thought this was a credible scenario. I no longer do. The evidence that Merytaten was married to Smenkhkare is clear; she was only a "great wife" at this time and not a king. The evidence that Neferneferuaten on the other hand was married to Akhenaten and became a "king" in his lifetime is also very strong. I do not think the evidence shows that Merytaten was Neferneferuaten, or that she was ever married to Akhenaten. Her status of "great wife" is fully accounted for by her marriage to Smenkhkare and would not be lost by the death of her husband, if evidence from earlier in the dynasty is anything to go by (e.g. Ahmose-Nefertiry, Hatshepsut, Tiye).

As I see it Smenkhkare being a real person, of the Egyptian royal family, and being appointed junior coregent in or shortly after 12 Akhenaten but predeceasing his senior partner satisfies all the "problems". It is as far as I can tell a unique situation.

Tutankhaten, as a "king's son" but not Akhenaten's son, is in an anomalous position. He may have been the ultimate intended successor, but his single attestation as a prince does not style him "eldest son" or "first son", which as the sole son of Akhenaten and the acknowledged heir (in the scenario where he is a son of Akhenaten and Nefertiti) he would have been.

To sum up:
1) The children Merytaten-tasherit and Ankhesenpaaten-tasherit are explained. They are real.
2) The failure of Tutankhaten to succeed Akhenaten directly is explained.
3) The insistence on Akhenaten having no son is explained (it is true).
4) The depiction of Tutankhuaten facing a princess [....]aten is explained. Smenkhkare had other children, and -aten names are not the exclusive preserve of Akhenaten and his children.
5) Why Aya preceded Horemhab on the throne is partially explained. He was also a son in law of Akhenaten.

I originally supported the idea that Smenkhkare was in fact the son of Akhenaten. The genetics do not favour this, nor does the age of Tiye. So it seems that Akhenaten decided that he would not have a son, some considerable time before he died. Why this was the case we do not know, since (in this argument) we do not have his mummy to look for medical answers - not that we would necessarily get them. He may have become impotent (speculation). Dodson suggests that the child being borne away from the death chamber of Meketaten is in fact a symbolic representation of her rebirth, and points to at least one of the damaged scenes in Akhenaten's tomb showing a similar action. He says it is unlikely (and I agree) that these royal deaths were both due to childbirth.

Rough timescale:
Year 12: the durbar. Meketaten dies. Akhenaten breaks with another tradition and marries off his elder surviving daughters to "commoners" (probably relatives). The plague perhaps starts.
Year 13: plague a serious problem. Akhenaten appoints his son in law coregent, incidentally elevating Tutankhuaten to the status of "king's son". Tombs of the nobles at Akhetaten abandoned, perhaps further deaths of younger daughters of Akhenaten; Smenkhkare also dies, after less than a year of reign.
End of 16/beginning of 17: Akhenaten anticipates his own end, or sees the need to have an agent with full authority to act in the rest of Egypt, and elevates Nefertiti to kingship as Neferneferuaten. He does not elevate another wife, but Merytaten is shown in her role as "Great Wife" in company with Akhenaten and Neferneferuaten.
Year 17: Akhenaten dies (still year 1 of Neferneferuaten).
3 years later: Tutankhaten made king.
9 years later still: Tutankhamun unexpectedly dies. Shortly before this a mummy is brought from Akhetaten and reburied in KV55. Possibly several individuals are brought (e.g. Tiye, Neferneferuaten, daughters of Nefertiti, Smenkhkare, Akhenaten himself) but only one ends up in KV55. The wrong one. Tutankhamun buried in KV62.

Reign of Aya: both KV62 and KV55 are broken into and re-sealed.

I think this answers more than other proposals. It is not perfect - we don't get an answer to when, why or how KV55 was used, or what happened to the other royal mummies, nor to why Akhenaten decided he was not going to have a son, but there are plenty of possible answers to these questions.



  • Re: The Amarna Period againJoe Baker, Fri Sep 2 07:02
    Hi Kim Hattushili II (III) wrote to king Kadashman-Enlil III (II) some time after the latter’s accession, and refers to an offer by the latter’s father Kadashman-Turgu to assist him in a war with... more
    • Re: The Amarna Period again — Kim Sargerson, Fri Sep 2 20:00
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